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Scientific advisory boards set the bar for the quality of research and development performed in big pharma, medium biotech and small start-ups. Their excellence is a measure for scientific standards and innovation in an enterprise. They provide insights into scientific trends from an international perspective, give strategic advice for the company’s R&D plans and consolidate technological leadership. InterAx Biotech AG, a spin-off of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), has strengthened its scientific advisory board with one of the most internationally cited scientists, Prof. Michel Bouvier from the University of Montréal.
Professor Bouvier is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) and professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal. His research focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms that regulate one of the most important classes of current drug targets, the family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Many of his groundbreaking findings have over the years led to significant paradigm shifts in the field and paved the way for alternative strategies to develop novel and safer drugs targeting GPCRs. In his role as a scientific advisor, he will advise InterAx Biotech in the development of the company’s proprietary novel biosensors. These biosensors are the core pillar of the InterAx GPCR lead discovery platform that combines biosensors with Computational Biology for quantitative comparison of drug-induced GPCR signaling. InterAx unique drug discovery platform will dramatically reduce costs for the development of novel GPCR drugs with reduced side effects, thereby benefiting patients with unmet medical needs.
In his Interview to PARK INNOVAARE, Professor Bouvier explains what caught his interest in this Swiss start-up and how he sees its development in years to come.
PARK INNOVAARE: Why did you decide to join InterAx’ Scientific Advisory Board?
During a visit at PSI, I had the opportunity to meet the scientific team of InterAx. I was impressed by the innovative nature of the biosensors developed by the team and by the potential of both the technology and InterAx’ scientists. The technology developed by InterAx is complementary to biosensor’s technology that I myself developed and I saw a great potential for synergy.
Where do you see the potential for InterAx’ technology?
The recent emergence of the concepts of GPCR functional selectivity and ligand-biased signaling applied to the discovery of more efficient and safer drugs targeting these receptors created a need for technologies probing the different activation modalities of the receptors. The biosensors developed by InterAx provide a new set of tools that will allow the identification of modalities associated with desired therapeutic outcomes.
How can your extensive knowledge and expertise help InterAx develop?
Given my long-standing expertise in GPCR signaling, I can advise InterAx’s scientists on the diverse aspects of GPCR signaling and their pharmacological modulation for therapeutic discovery. Based on my knowledge of the market’s need I will also help InterAx team prioritizing the value-added projects. I will also use my extended relationship network with academia and industry to identify possible collaborators and partners that could synergize with InterAx to reach their objectives.